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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got my 11-15 to 12-15 check from the G.C. I am working for and there was 2450.00 held for a labor back charge. No itemization, no explanation, nothing. There was one day where I had a laborer call out sick and they were going to send a guy home, I offered to pay him to rake and run a plate compactor, but it was for 5 hours. That is an expensive laborer. I asked for an itemized invoice, and will call the owner on Monday. I am wondering if I should call the lawyer first, they have no cause to back charge me for that amount, I can see a couple three hundred dollars for the one day but that is it. Any thoughts? I have all my materials and labor covered at this point, but don't really want to go to court. I should have listened to my buddy about these guys, but needed the work at the time, and his opinion can be somewhat biased depending on mood.
 

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Just got my 11-15 to 12-15 check from the G.C. I am working for and there was 2450.00 held for a labor back charge. No itemization, no explanation, nothing. There was one day where I had a laborer call out sick and they were going to send a guy home, I offered to pay him to rake and run a plate compactor, but it was for 5 hours. That is an expensive laborer. I asked for an itemized invoice, and will call the owner on Monday. I am wondering if I should call the lawyer first, they have no cause to back charge me for that amount, I can see a couple three hundred dollars for the one day but that is it. Any thoughts? I have all my materials and labor covered at this point, but don't really want to go to court. I should have listened to my buddy about these guys, but needed the work at the time, and his opinion can be somewhat biased depending on mood.
he'll need a lien waiver upon completion of project. unless his backcharges are legit, refuse to sign it. then pursue the lien
 

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Whos the GC if you dont mind me asking?

Where in VT are you?
 

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Project Superintendent
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You should call the PM and ask him what the charges are for. Unless they are just a sleazy scumbag GC they will tell you and supply documentation.

Do they need you to finish the job or are they trying to get rid of you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They could be trying to get rid of me who knows, we just spent 2 months arguing over a water tank that wasn't engineered to NFPA 22 spec in the bid documents, but required to meet spec for the fire suppression permit.
According to said GC it was my obligation to foot the difference in cost of the tank, because I like everyone else bid from the plans. Eventually the architect and engineers agreed on the change order, or I should say that they agreed that they could not find a way out of paying it.
I still have a big tank to sink in the spring, tie in the last 15 ft of sewer, and topsoil/seed/mulch not much but enough.
 

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Project Superintendent
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They could be trying to get rid of me who knows, we just spent 2 months arguing over a water tank that wasn't engineered to NFPA 22 spec in the bid documents, but required to meet spec for the fire suppression permit.
According to said GC it was my obligation to foot the difference in cost of the tank, because I like everyone else bid from the plans. Eventually the architect and engineers agreed on the change order, or I should say that they agreed that they could not find a way out of paying it.
I still have a big tank to sink in the spring, tie in the last 15 ft of sewer, and topsoil/seed/mulch not much but enough.
Well, general contracting is all about distributing risk. And yes, your contract no doubt is "plans and specs" no matter what your proposal might have said, unless you forced the GC to make your proposal part of your contract. Sounds like the architect, engineers could have been a**holes and made you eat the tank.

I would guess that the GC wants you to finish the job, no GC wants to spend time rounding up a new sub to finish some work they already wrote a contract for, unless you piss 'em off to the point where it is less painful to go hire someone else (and probably pay them more money) than continue to work with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"Well, general contracting is all about distributing risk. And yes, your contract no doubt is "plans and specs" no matter what your proposal might have said, unless you forced the GC to make your proposal part of your contract. Sounds like the architect, engineers could have been a**holes and made you eat the tank."

Actually my contract states, that I am responsible for the sitework portion of the plans(even references the bid set). It was the state that was saying that the project needed to meet this particular code for the C.O. I am sure that if the engineers could have found a way they would have made me eat the tank, Even though they hired a fire suppression engineer to design the system. I would think that a fire suppression engineer would be aware of this code.:confused1:

I agree thought that it will probably cost quite a bit to move somebody else in, I don't know why they would want to I have bent over backwards to be accommodating. I do know that there is no way I owe the that much in labor. not for 5 hours 1 guy.
 

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I do know that there is no way I owe the that much in labor. not for 5 hours 1 guy.
$2450 for 5 hours? Yeah, where do I sign up for that? :laughing:
You just need to let the GC know you aren't a pushover. Tell them you want documentation of the charges, and then negotiate from there. Stay on 'em, don't let them hold your money 'til you are desperate and will settle for less than what you think is fair. I have been on both sides of this. The GC will be fair if you demand it, unless he is a complete scumbag as I said earlier. This is possible, but not likely. Usually you are just dealing with a second or third level PM who wants to throw his weight around.
 

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I'd say ask for a breakdown before you call your lawyer. It could just be a snafu but yeah, it seems like the GC's are quicker than ever to try to ding you every chance they get, even some they don't get.

I've got a guy with a nationwide type GC I'm working for down here that keeps trying to hit me for stuff, I keep going back to his scope documents and showing him where it's in somebody else's scope.

Let's not even get started on how bad plans and specs are these days.
 

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Let's not even get started on how bad plans and specs are these days.
We do a lot of work with a particular architect who actually still does a really good job with details on the architectural drawings. Problem is he lets his consultants get away with less. Especially site work.

I had to call a meeting of all the people doing layout on the job this week to get everybody on the same page. Very few spot elevations, only contour lines that you have to interpret what's in between. Big pissing match between excavator and paver over proper subgrade. We finally agreed to pay my surveyor an hourly rate for office time to interpret drawings and come up with elevations for everyone to use.

Yes, good plans and specs are the exception and not the rule these days.
 

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I was always under the impression that all of the thinking was done prior to final plans being drawn up. As stated above, I am learning that is not always the case and to question everything.

I will not proceed until all the right people sign off. It amazes me how many engineers, architects, etc. place the burden of design on the actual installer. As far as I am concerned, I don't get paid to design, I get paid to build. If the plans cannot definitively describe what to build, I am not going to assume the liability of making a judgement call.

The irony of it all is, a GC will be pushing for completion, the sub is saying I need more info, GC says do what you think best, sub says OK, engineer says that's not what I meant, GC backcharges sub, and everyone wonders why projects are so innefficient at times:whistling Communication is key, and good plans are the beginning of clear communication.
 

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I was always under the impression that all of the thinking was done prior to final plans being drawn up. As stated above, I am learning that is not always the case and to question everything.

I will not proceed until all the right people sign off. It amazes me how many engineers, architects, etc. place the burden of design on the actual installer. As far as I am concerned, I don't get paid to design, I get paid to build. If the plans cannot definitively describe what to build, I am not going to assume the liability of making a judgement call.

The irony of it all is, a GC will be pushing for completion, the sub is saying I need more info, GC says do what you think best, sub says OK, engineer says that's not what I meant, GC backcharges sub, and everyone wonders why projects are so innefficient at times:whistling Communication is key, and good plans are the beginning of clear communication.
I have learned over the years to choose my battles. Some are not worth fighting. I know that this particular civil engineer will not come out on site unless there is some disaster that is clearly his fault. As long as the full depth of paving section is there, and there is no standing water, he doesn't care. If I tried to make him provide every spot elevation needed we would never get done.

When my guy gets all the spots on paper, I plan to submit it to the engineer and leave a paper trail proving that I sent it to him, that's about as good as I can do with this guy.
 

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In order to get good plans good money has to be spent. It's amazing how much work it takes to generate a detailed and complete set of plans.
 

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Guyute, it sounds like another GC playing an old fashioned game of beat the sub. And as you know the subs that own iron are among the stupidest (no offense as I own the crap too).

This is exactly when the real unscrupulous F ers come out and take advantage. Its almost like they can smell the blood in the water when guys are hurting from payments on sitting iron.

IMHO, it could be time to wait until the end of the day and do a private negotiation:2guns:. Get my drift?

Years ago there were quite a number of those types around here until one was found floating face down at the shore, not swimming.

Get tough and dont let them do this or simply take it out from thier hyde
 

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Guyute, it sounds like another GC playing an old fashioned game of beat the sub. And as you know the subs that own iron are among the stupidest (no offense as I own the crap too).

This is exactly when the real unscrupulous F ers come out and take advantage. Its almost like they can smell the blood in the water when guys are hurting from payments on sitting iron.

IMHO, it could be time to wait until the end of the day and do a private negotiation:2guns:. Get my drift?

Years ago there were quite a number of those types around here until one was found floating face down at the shore, not swimming.

Get tough and dont let them do this or simply take it out from thier hyde
You remind me of one of my boss's expressions that comes out now and again "Us grading guys have got to be the dumbest MFers on the planet"
 

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Posted by Vinny

Years ago there were quite a number of those types around here until one was found floating face down at the shore, not swimming.

Get tough and dont let them do this or simply take it out from thier hyde
I like your style Vinny.

Who does your negotiations? The Sopranos:eek:
 

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Guyute, it sounds like another GC playing an old fashioned game of beat the sub. And as you know the subs that own iron are among the stupidest (no offense as I own the crap too).

This is exactly when the real unscrupulous F ers come out and take advantage. Its almost like they can smell the blood in the water when guys are hurting from payments on sitting iron.

IMHO, it could be time to wait until the end of the day and do a private negotiation:2guns:. Get my drift?

Years ago there were quite a number of those types around here until one was found floating face down at the shore, not swimming.

Get tough and dont let them do this or simply take it out from thier hyde
Of course a dead guy ain't gonna write you a check, but I guess you might feel better while you spend the rest of your life in jail.
 
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